Whitsunday Islands National Park Whitsundays

Relax on the beach and enjoy views of Macona Inlet from Curlew Beach camping area. Photo credit: © Jana Hummelshoj

The iconic Hill Inlet is not to be missed on a visit to Whitsunday Islands National Park. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Curlew Beach, Hook Island

Tucked away from passing boat traffic, this secluded site forms the gateway to the Whitsundays' rich and vibrant cultural history.

Accessible by

  • Boat

Campground facilities

  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Snorkelling and diving
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Tent camping

Set up camp in this shady, peaceful site nestled behind a sandy beach and backing onto tropical rainforest.

Tucked away in Macona Inlet, this is the closest camping area to the Ngaro Cultural Site. Learn about the Traditional Owners of the Land—the Ngaro People—on a short walking track to an awe-inspiring collection of rock art and middens dating back over 2500 years.

Grab your snorkel at low tide and head out to explore the vibrant reef wall off Curlew Beach, or further to explore the fringing reef in the small bays between Nara and Macona inlets.

End the day listening for the haunting sounds of bush stone-curlews calling in the night. During the day, you'll spot these intriguing birds standing still as statues or resting peacefully in the undergrowth.

Whitsunday Islands National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its superlative natural beauty, outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development, evolutionary history and amazing diversity.

Getting there and getting around

Curlew Beach camping area is on Hook Island in Whitsunday Islands National Park, located offshore from the Queensland central coast, 25km east of Airlie Beach.

  • Curlew Beach is located in Macona Inlet on Hook Island, approximately 38.3nm (71km) from Shute Harbour (travelling in an anti-clockwise direction).
  • No public moorings are available at Curlew Beach.
  • Anchoring is permitted within Macona Inlet. The anchorage is sheltered from northerlies and light south-easterlies.
  • Access to this site is possible at mid to high tide. Keep clear of sand bars, fringing reef and sand flat.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.
  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Getting to the Whitsundays

  • Travel on the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, 125km north of Mackay.
  • From Proserpine, drive 25km east along Shute Harbour Road to Airlie Beach, and continue a further 10km to Shute Harbour. Book your tour or charter boat or launch your vessel from here.
  • All roads to the boat launch sites are suitable for conventional 2WDs.

The islands' national park is easily accessible by commercial tours and transfers, charter boat and private vessel from the coastal towns of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Hamilton Island (20km south-east of Shute Harbour) is also accessible by aircraft.

Commercial tours

  • Commercial operators offer day trips, camping tours and boat, camper and kayak transfers departing from Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach and from Shute Harbour.

Charter boat

  • Bare boats or private charters are available from Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island.

Private vessel

  • There are public boat ramps at Port of Airlie and Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour, Cannonvale (4km east of Airlie Beach), Dingo Beach (50km north-west of Airlie Beach), Conway Beach (38km south of Airlie Beach) and Midge Point (60km south of Airlie Beach).
  • Always take the weather and tidal influences into account when boating in the Whitsundays.

Aircraft

  • Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach have airstrips and commercial operators offer sightseeing tours.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Curlew Beach camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Curlew Beach camping area. Photo: Queensland Government.

Curlew Beach camping area. Photo: Queensland Government.

Camping area features: A sandy beach backed with rainforest and a small seasonal creek.

Location: Macona Inlet, Hook Island; approximately 17km north-east of Airlie Beach.

Access: The camping area can be reached by boat (only) during mid to high tide by shallow craft only.

Number of sites: Open area without separately defined sites. Maximum of 12 people.

Camp sites are suitable for: walk-in camping.

Camp site surface: Sand and dirt.

Facilities: Composting toilet, picnic tables.

Open fires: Prohibited.

Generators: Not permitted.

Essentials to bring: Drinking water, rubbish bags, insect repellent. Read more about before you visit.

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options. Advance bookings recommended for holiday periods.

Mobile phone coverage: Available.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Whitsunday Islands safely and camp with care.